I was talking to Brooks Wynn at church who relayed the events and stories told on a drive to a “utah daughter’s of the pioneers convention” with a man named Michael Kennedy (no immediate relation to our Kennedy’s). This Michael Kennedy is a direct descendent of Joseph and Emma Smith, and was the first baptized member of his family after all of their children fell away. Michaels great grandpa was Alexander Smith, who was one of the 4 of Joseph and Emma’s blood children who lived to adulthood.
Michael said that Alexander came across the plains, incognito, with the Willy and Martin handcart company. Who knew? Apparently many knew and it’s proof is found in many journals of pioneers who also traveled in this company.
So anyway, get this... when Michael was a young boy he lived outside of Eelie, NV in a town that I can’t remember the name. It was actually in Utah. His family had no religion. No missionaries had ever stopped by and they had never seen them. Michael was given an assignment in school to do a report on somebody in US history. As he was discussing with his old man, his dad said, “do it in Joe Smith. He’s the guy that settled Utah and he’s our ancestor.” His dad then pulled out a box, from under the bed, with pictures of Lucy Mack and Emma smith lying on top of their hankies and other family heirlooms and set it on the family room table for young Michael to rifle through while his dad went out back to do some work.
Moments later the missionaries knocked on their door. (Of course they did- and why not...) So Michael answered the door and invited them in. While he was fetching his dad the missionaries saw the open box on the table and when Michael came back they enquired about its contents: recognizable pictures of Lucy Mack and Emma Smith. Michael replied that he was doing a history project for school on one of his ancestors, Joe Smith, who settles Utah.
Well, the missionaries set him and his family straight on who Joseph Smith really is and eventually Michael joined the church.
His calling is not that of primary teacher but... get this... came from the 1st presidency. He is to spend the rest of his life gathering Joseph and Emma’s posterity into the church. And he reports to M. Russell Ballard monthly for p.p.i’s. As you do when the first presidency issues your calling. What the heck?
Michael is in charge of all the family reunions. You know the church produced movies on Joseph and Emma? Well, those were actually produced for Michael’s family reunions via the church, so that his family knows that we revere Emma and Joseph and love them and to dispel the lies they have been fed that “Mormons would kill them if they ever came to Utah”.
Before Joseph died, he proclaimed his greatest fear was that his children would leave the church. This was confirmed from heaven that they would indeed do that, but would come back in time. Welcome back, Michael Kennedy. 😉.
Just thought you’d like that little story. There are many like it as Michael is finding Jospeh’s family. 1/3 of them are in Australia... go figure.